This story floated around on my Facebook feed all last week (because it involves the basketball team of my alma mater - Go Boomers!), and I thought it was just the sweetest thing.
This short clip is not the clearest picture, so let me set the stage for you:
The player in white who is shooting, #52, is a senior, and this is his last high school basketball game. Due to some physical disabilities, he hasn't seen much play time throughout the season, but was a dedicated member of the team. This last play of the game was designed specifically around him, to give him a chance to score in his final game. As the clip begins, you'll see him put up a 3-point shot, which bounces off the backboard back into his hands. He puts up another shot, and...
Did you see what happened there?! After #52 misses the second shot, the ball is rebounded and passed back to him again...by a member of the opposite team, #23. This act of sportsmanship allows #52 to score a 3-pointer on his last shot, of his last game, in his last year of high school.
It was just #23's automatic, intuitive reaction to pass that ball back
to #52 and give him another chance. How incredible that his instinct
was to do so, after hours and hours of practice trained him that when
you rebound, you get back to your end of the court! Not only that, perhaps my favorite part of the whole clip is #23's genuine reaction of excitement after the shot goes in.
This is a very tiny gesture in the grand scheme of things - a simple pass of a ball back into the hands of a player whose team you are already beating - but it serves as an oft-needed reminder that kindness comes to us automatically, intuitively, and not to stifle that urge. The world could always use a little more of that.